This blog post will focus on the process of creating the initial paperwork necessary to design a video game. This post will primarily focus on the three major documents needed to design and pitch an original video game idea. These three documents will eventually become the same, which is known as the game design document.
The first document in the game designing phase is referred to as the game proposal or the one-sheet. This document is extremely important in the early phases of a game design. This one-sheet is a basic overview of what the game is going to be. The one-sheet is meant to be short, interesting, and informative so that the design team, as well as the publisher, can get excited about the game.
The second document is a little longer and contains much more detail than the previous one-sheet. This document is referred to as the ten-pager and it is roughly 10 pages in length. The ten-pager is written to layout the initial foundation of the game being designed. According to a game design author Rogers (2010), “The intent is for readers to quickly understand the basics of the final product without going into excruciating detail” (p. 62).
The third and final document is known as the game design document, or the GDD. This document is roughly 30 to 40 pages and is intended to detail every important aspect of the game being designed. In the GDD, the designer will go into the excruciating detail that was left out of the ten-pager. The GDD is helpful for not only the team but also the designer. The designer uses the GDD to not only inform others about the game, but also to have documentation for all the aspects of the game.
Rogers, S. (2010). Level Up: The Guide to Great Video Game Design. WestSussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons , Ltd